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Ulysses' Companions' Odyssey (provisional app review)

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Apr 21, 2022 at 08:51 AM


For those seeking a nice, cheap replacement for Ulysses (on macOS) that does the same concatenation thing that Steve’s just been trying to describe, Novellus is a good option (and has very good grammar/style checking features as well). It’s nowhere near as sophisticated as Ulysses, but is pleasant to work with. Unfortunately the developer has, I fear, become rather discouraged, so it hasn’t been updated for a few months. But I use it fairly regularly to write stuff. There isn’t an iOS version, unfortunately.

The Ulysses concatenation is difficult to appreciate unless you’ve actually worked with it. Ulysses allows you to view multiple sheets (= notes, documents) together – but not just view them, actually edit them, too, just as if they were a single sheet (note, document, whatever). So it’s not to be confused with a preview function (Ulysses does that too, of course). It’s probably the single most powerful feature in Ulysses, because you can shift the documents (notes, sheets, etc.) around however you like, and then view or edit them as a new “group” (i.e. with surrounding documents) in their new context.

I was wondering if Inspire Writer did that – there’s no mention of it on their website, so I suspected (and Steve has just confirmed) that it doesn’t.

Scrivener is amazing, but the learning curve is steep and some of the features are definitely somewhat confusing. Even Charles Stross (a highly intelligent sci-fi author who features on the Literature & Latte blog) admits that he doesn’t use more than the basic features in Scrivener (which rather amused me, I must admit).